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What is the most important language to know beside English?

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Hi, I've decided to embark on a bagpacking journey around the world... but i wonder which language is the most important to know....??
4 years ago, October 24th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #90543  
B Posts: 13
I'm currently 21 yrs of age... and decided that I should just travel independently when i have the opportunity.

My question: Which language is most important, most commonly used beside English??

-- French?? Is it commonly used in Europe, or only in France?? French can be used in most places in Africa, am I right??

--Spanish?? Commonly used in south Amercia... but which is more impt? French? Spanish? Or other langauge? Reply to this

4 years ago, October 24th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #90554  
B Posts: 9,677
Hi Jaren,

If you're looking for a language spoken in a greater number of countries, go for Spanish.

If you're wanting a language spoken by a greater number of people, then Chinese.

More importantly, is your RTW going to take you through every region? Reply to this

4 years ago, October 24th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #90557  
B Posts: 13
Hi McCarthy,

Not really, but i intend to go africa and South America as well.... so i am wondering , spanish or French??
and which is easier to learn?? Reply to this

4 years ago, October 24th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #90559  
Which part of Africa will you be travelling to? This will determine if French is going to be useful for you. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 24th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #90560  
Which language is easier to learn depends on your mother tongue, as well as which aspects of language learning (grammar, pronunciation, vocab) you find hardest. For Africa, French will be the best back-up to English - although a few countries speak Portuguese. Spanish will get you furthest in South America, but Brazil speaks Portuguese too.

In general terms, Chinese and Russian are spoken over a huge proportion of the world's surface, but there aren't many backpacking locations in the Russian- and Chinese-speaking world.

J. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #90649  
Spanish is your best bet for travel then Mandarin or Cantonese. Many young people are now studying Mandarin in Canada in order to succed in the business world of the future. China owns at least half of North America with businesses and huge investment. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #90652  
B Posts: 13
hi all,

oh, i will be travelling to north and west africa preferably. Thus, i would love and wonder what langauge they speak.

hi colabamumbai,
yea, i went over canada a yr ago, and there was this craze over Mandarin. I'm from Singapore and nautrally we learn both english and Mandarin. Ya, I do really think the chinese there are way too many. i feel like I'm in small china there. Is chinese really that impt in the near future?

So u think Spanish is better than French?? Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #90653  
For North Africa, you'll need French. It's spoken in Morocco, and I think Tunisia and Algeria.

J. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #90656  
Globally, Spanish as a spoken language probably ranks higher than French. However, your future destinations will determine which language or languages are most important. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #90658  
Yes Jason Spanish for the world in general, it is the same as Italian and easy to learn. and yes 50% of the world speaks Mandarin or Cantonese. Now in Canada white people make up less than 50% of the population.

Look at it this way lets pretend that with all the Chinese investment and ownership in North America, and all the products coming from China, lets pretend that China gains so much power financial and political, that they basically own the country, could they become the communits rulers of the U.S. and Canada. Would we automatically become forced members of the Communist Party. I opened this discussion with friends recently. How far is it from the reality? Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #90659  
Jaren

Your photo at the Taj Mahal, looking good. I sat there where you are in 1972 as I lived for ten years in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Laos etc. The last 5 years working and living in Mexico. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #90660  
Alex - about a billion miles from reality. You're confusing economics and politics, as well as getting your facts wrong.

J. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #90661  
B Posts: 13
oh. u sat there at taj mahal?? haha.... still the same i bet huh.

lets not drag politics into the scene guys. I'm a chinese by the way. but i am not born and not from china. I am rather impressed with ppl learning chinese cos back home in singapore, many youngsters deters learning the language.

And what u guys think, i can see it as spanish is easier and more spoken than French?? Correct me ya. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #90662  
Yes but they are the same thing the biggest economic player becomes the largest political player as was the U.S. for many years. Money talks half of the members of Parliament in Canada are not naturalized Canadians but immigrants they set the agenda for the different ethnic groups that they represent. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #90666  
I haven't learned Spanish so I can't comment from personal experience, but many people for whom English is their mother tongue find Spanish easier to learn than French. I think the grammar is simpler.

J. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #90667  
For West Africa then French is going to be more helpful for you, and it is also spoken in large chunks on that part of the continent. However, French is not going to help much in South America (apart from French Guiana) where Spanish is the dominant language.

I think your choice could depend on how long you intend to stay in each continent - and choose the language which may give you the longest amount of benefit. However, you could delve a bit into each language, and then continue with the one that you find the easiest. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 25th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #90678  
B Posts: 9,677
I would suggest at least learning basic greetings in French, but that Spanish would be easier to pick up and take further. One thing though, if your Spanish speaking travel is mostly going to be in South America try and learn it from a South American Spanish speaker - some vocab and pronunciation is quite different. Reply to this

4 years ago, October 26th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #90752  
Hello Jaren

Where travel is concerned, I find the most useful second language to be Spanish. Italian and Portuguese speakers can often also understand it. I dont understand, when the Italian and Portuguese speakers say something back, but at least what I say is understood.

Where working in the various countries is concerned, I would say German, Japanese... ie the langages of countries with stong economies.

Mel
Reply to this

4 years ago, October 27th 2009 No: 19 Msg: #90990  
B Posts: 13
Hi Mel =)

Just a side question, where are you from? =) oh, i learnt basic french before and it was so much difficult for me to cope... i must say is a bit tough for me, (Mandarin and English speaking background)

I have this feeling that French is widely used in various part of the country, in West Africa and also in Canada --Quebec yup.

But i have this burning question and is open to all: '' Which language is most useful for someone who likes to travel as well as to learn it proper since I foresee myself working in the tourism industry. What is the most commonly used langauge when travelling around, Spanish or french speaking community travel more? '' Reply to this

4 years ago, October 27th 2009 No: 20 Msg: #90997  
Tourism = English. Learn to write it properly, and the world of tourism will be open to you. If you have a specific country in mind where you would like to work, choose the language of that country as the next language to learn.

For example: if you have your heart set on Mexico, perfect your English then move on to Spanish. For Morocco, choose French as your third language.

J. Reply to this

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